Archives For vulnerability

Bottom line: I had the power all along, I just didn’t believe in myself.

When Alana asked me to write a blog post about where my journey of self-discovery has led me in the last year, I was happy for the green light to reflect. What would I uncover and consider worthy of sharing with others?

Dragonflies symbolize transformation. If one lands on you, plan for change.

Dragonflies symbolize transformation. If one lands on you, plan for change.

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I Should…

Alana —  September 13, 2013 — 6 Comments

I should…

… take better care of my body
… work more hours
… have a better attitude at work
… iron Josh’s shirts
… be a better wife
… exercise more

I Should… Continue Reading…

I know I’ve been quiet for a few weeks [ahem, months]. I have a lot of reasons, but I’m not sure if any of them amount to anything life-changing. I definitely feel stuck right now. I have everything and nothing to share.

photo credit: Georges Fontaine

photo credit: Georges Fontaine

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Our Virgin Nightmare

Alana —  May 30, 2013 — 10 Comments

Warning: This post contains graphic sexual references and descriptions.

It was our wedding night, and we were ready. Tonight would be the first time Josh and I had sex. Not just with each other, but… ever. We had waited 24 and 26 years respectively for this day and it finally arrived. And the best part – now it was considered a GOOD THING for us to have intercourse! We had followed the Christian protocol and got married first.

Photo by Matthew Schulert. www.matthewschulert.com

Photo by Matthew Schulert. www.matthewschulert.com

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My Story

Alana —  October 30, 2012 — 2 Comments

I do not have a guest writer lined up for today, so I decided to begin sharing part of my own story.

Last week, I reconnected with an old friend and asked if this person would be willing to share their story here on the blog as part of the Your Story series. My friend politely declined. What happened in the past was still all too fresh.

I am still living with consequences of patterns learned from then and the years since then, and I’m doing all I can to move forward, but it is not as easy as it sounds. Continue Reading…

I am in Transition

Alana —  October 22, 2012 — 9 Comments

Have you ever sat in a room of people – that you gathered together – to share your plans for the future, ask for their feedback on your ideas, only to realize that what you are really asking them for is permission to just be yourself?

I have. Continue Reading…

Your Story: Cassandra Holmes

Alana —  October 9, 2012 — 8 Comments

Bedtime Stories That Paved The Road to Redemption
shared by Cassandra Holmes

Every child knows what bedtime stories are. Sometimes parents read them from books, other parents make them up as they go. My favorite bedtime story was “The Man & The Woman Story”. Basic as far as stories go, but this one is special. This one is mine. Continue Reading…

Being Who I Am

Alana —  August 30, 2012 — 4 Comments

Note from Alana: This is strange. Josh and I both wrote our posts on this topic within a similar time frame. Each not knowing the other person was writing about the same theme. I’m intrigued by how many 30-somethings struggle with their identity… and perhaps people of all ages do, but it’s the 30-somethings that are beginning to speak out. You can see Josh’s guest post here.

Alana Mokma, you are OKAY as you are.

Just be you.
Just be you! It sounds so simple. Yet for me, this is really difficult. To be honest, it’s embarrassing. Especially because I’m putting myself out there as a person who can help you identify who you are. I can help you identify your strong spots, your weak spots, your passions, your talents… but… I’ve been struggling to do this for myself.

Two weeks ago, I realized why: Continue Reading…

Your Story: Amanda Whitehead

Alana —  August 14, 2012 — 13 Comments

Reclaiming Lost Identity
written by Amanda Whitehead

Amanda pictured with her Mother.

No one is a stranger to hurt and pain. While the causes vary, the feelings are experienced by all of us. My story is about my flawed attempt at handling my emotional life, the aftereffects of that attempt, and the journey of finding real healing and learning to walk in wholeness. My story is a Jesus story.

I came to believe certain things about myself as I navigated my school years, unwittingly attempting to find definition. None of them were spoken over me by my parents or loved ones; I picked up and accepted them as I learned the ugly art of comparison. Carrying these falsehoods around like a heavy dark shroud, I spent the bulk of my teens and twenties trying to be perfect…to be extraordinarily productive…in order to earn value. I hid myself in busy-ness. I navigated a few significant broken relationships. I arranged my world to foster the delusion that anything lacking was lacking because I simply didn’t have time for it. Every choice I made, every motivation, was silently influenced by my warped identity. I was set up for surface success, but it was all built on a foundation of failure and misery.

Continue Reading…

The backstory.
Josh was out of town this past weekend for a cycling event, so I had the house to myself. Being a person who loves to be surrounded by people, my original plans were to pack virtually every moment with hosting out-of-town guests, meeting up with others for coffee, and spa dates. As the time drew closer, a few of the plans fell through and I felt the increasing desire (or need) to spend a substantial amount of this time alone. This time would be used to re-group and focus on what the heck I am doing in life. Ha. One of the things I love about myself is that I always have ideas for projects, businesses and improvements. One of the things that frustrates me about myself is that I always have ideas for projects, businesses and improvements. My mind moves at 100 miles/hour and sometimes I cannot even keep up with myself. I feel like this weekend, I got a little taste for what this has been like for those around me. :)

My original intention for the weekend was to figure out which of my many projects I should pursue first. However, it took a completely different direction. Last Wednesday I met with my naturopath of whom I’ve been meeting with for at least three years now. That being said, he has had plenty of time to get to know me – my strengths, desires and struggles. The abbreviated conclusion of our conversation is that I do not love myself. Yikes. This is coming up, AGAIN?? This must be an underlying current because it pops up in various areas of my life and recently has been popping up more and more often.

The twist.
I left his office with a new focus for the weekend – one I was much less excited about: “I am loved and accepted by myself and by God right where I am.” Not so ironically, the thing I have been avoiding is what I needed most. And… ironically, the thing I wanted most for others is what I most needed.

The basics.
I have based my value strongly on what I can produce – how quickly I can turn projects at work, how much house cleaning I can complete, how many people I can help… It has been an exhausting life to say the least. In my mind, if I am not actively producing, then I do not have value. So to deal with this this weekend, I chose to eliminate distractions (facebook, e-mail, and tv) and all projects (no blogging, no housework, no finishing the basement project that I started and have left hanging for a week now). It was hard.
I then wrote on a few notecards, “I am loved and accepted by myself and by God right where I am” and placed these in each of the bathrooms. Throughout the weekend, if I found myself thinking critically of my physical appearance or spastic tendencies I would drop what I was doing and force myself to walk into the bathroom, look into the mirror and read out loud: “I am loved and accepted by myself and by God right where I am.” Admittedly, at first, I had a difficult time even looking myself in the eye. Throughout the weekend it became easier.

The love.
Despite all the “soul-searching” I have done over the past year, I have lost touch with the basics of what I love to do. I have been caught up in what everyone else thinks I am good at or what they think I should do. This week, when I met with my naturopath, he asked me “What do you love to do?” When I’m asked this, I always go back to the same staple answer: “Well, I love being with and interacting with people.” This weekend I forced myself to go deeper.

What do you love to do?

I selected a yellow index card, wrote the words, “What do you love to do?” and taped it on our living room wall. Throughout the weekend, as things came to mind that I truly enjoyed doing, I would write them down and tape them to the wall underneath the original card. I was surprised by my answers! I forgot how much I enjoyed dancing. At one point this weekend, I closed the living room curtains, moved the furniture and danced like a crazy woman – and had a BLAST!

The conclusion.
I realized a few things this weekend:
– I don’t need to have all life’s answers figured out RIGHT NOW.
– My value is not based on what I can produce (still grappling with this one).
– It’s okay to take time to do the things I love to do (dance like nobody is watching).

What is one thing you love to do but have put it on the back burner because “life happened”? Please share in the comment section.

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